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Fit for Life

Oxford fitness expert encourages folks into healthy habits.

Written by Eugene Stockstill | Photographed by Joe Worthem


Want to get a head start on your New Year’s resolutions? Consider getting in touch with Anthony Johnson, a coach, cheerleader and inspirational speaker all rolled into one. Johnson owns and operates One Body by A.J. in Oxford, a local fitness center with a reputation for helping folks open a door into a healthier lifestyle.


“If I can get the best out of you for 10 minutes, your body will be hungry for more,” Johnson said.


At his fitness center on Westbrook Drive, Johnson works with individuals of all ages and fitness levels, as well as small groups, and he has plans to open a second center soon. He is also the trainer for the Miss Mississippi USA and Mississippi Teen USA pageants.


The 6-foot-4, 260-pound certified exercise specialist says the single biggest myth he has to overcome is that the average person doesn’t have time for fitness. A quick search of hours spent daily on social media opens most people’s eyes to the fact that poor time-management is their real problem.


“The only way to have a good life is to take care of the temple,” Johnson said, and that requires more than a robust body. Johnson, certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine, once worked with a bedridden patient who couldn’t use his arms or legs.


“I got him to laugh, and it brought forth bodily strength,” he said. “And then he wanted to move his head. He wanted to put forth more effort. I didn’t have to put weights in his hands. I had to go beyond that.”


Inner strength, Johnson said, fuels physical power.


“I love helping people see that they are valuable, see how important they are,” he said. “Don’t talk down to yourself.”


A.J. JOHNSON’S TOP FIVE FITNESS TIPS

  1. 1. Enjoy family time.

  2. 2. Create time for yourself.

  3. 3. Make sure to keep nutritious foods in the house.

  4. 4. Don’t sit more than two hours in a row.

  5. 5. Spend daily time outside.

A.J. JOHNSON’S SAMPLE INDOOR WORKOUT PLAN

  • 50 Jumping Jacks

  • 3 SETS, 20-25 PUSH UPS, ON KNEES

  • 3 SETS, 20-25 SQUATS, WITH OR WITHOUT WEIGHTS

  • 3 SETS, 20-25 LUNGES

  • 3 SETS, 20-25 FRONT, SIDE RAISES, WITH 3LB TO 5LB WEIGHTS

  • 3 SETS, 20-25 PLANKS

  • 3 SETS, 20-25 SQUAT JUMPS/HOPS

  • 3 SETS, 20-25 BICEP CURLS, WITH 5LB TO 20LB WEIGHTS

  • 3 SETS, 20-25 SEATED DIPS

  • 3 INTERVALS JUMP ROPE, 20-50 SECONDS

  • 3-5 MINS CRUNCHES

  • 30-45 MINS TREADMILL

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